A distressed worker imploding under Iain Duncan Smith’s reign of terror at the DWP sends us a message of solidarity

 IDS Nazi


Via Same Difference 7th October 2013

Picture: Milton Montenegro/Photodisc/Getty


Can you post this anonymously, please?

I work for the DWP.

I am going through a divorce caused by my depression at what I am doing each day.

I am in a written warning for being off sick despite Atos saying on my OHS (Occupational Health) that I need time and less focus on my targets.

My wife just can’t take anymore.

I can’t actually believe that I am working for these people – that I am partially to blame and part of what is being done to innocent people.

I feel like a piece of shit and can see no way out.

I have worked for DWP since I left school 15 years ago and until two years ago I got a letter every year for having no sick time.

Since then, I have had a total of four weeks off – each time signed off by my GP with work-related stress, depression and anxiety and now; if I have more than 5 more days between now and next August, I will be considered for dismissal.

So many of us are ourselves becoming ill with what is happening but they want to use any excuse to get rid of us.

Your readers are not without support from a lot of us: we are in this together.

We all know we are easily replaced by outsourcing companies and we know that they won’t care.

So many of us could have gone to better paid jobs in the private sector but we took pride in helping our customers who are often so vulnerable.

Now the pressure is unbearable.

We know it’s going to get much worse as this government push ahead with plans that colleagues who worked through the Thatcher years say even she didn’t even consider.

All we can do – your readers and us, alike – is hang in in there.




Why are the Unions Refusing to Name a General Strike Date?



Hey JJ,

Can you source this back to us as otherwise it could be just some construed as mis-information floating about.

This is a genuine message from someone who we know to be genuine.

They have been brave to tell us and glad you’re helping expose it – we’re the only ones who can hand-on-heart say ‘this is true and happening’.

After their bravery we don’t want their message to be mis-used by others.







57 thoughts on “A distressed worker imploding under Iain Duncan Smith’s reign of terror at the DWP sends us a message of solidarity

  1. Big Bill says:

    We need to hear a lot more from the workers at the DWP. What’s going on there will only be stopped once it’s exposed to and understood by the broader community.

  2. paul syson says:


    I know how he feels, I worked for DWP(then Dept.Employment) as a Client Advisor for 21 years until 1998 when I cracked up under the pressure, I also developed ddiabetes about the same time , my GP signed me off with work-related stress and depression , the dept in the end just wanted to sack me but we fought them and I ended up retired on health grounds on a measly pension–not exactly the gold plated copper bottomed one people like to think!

  3. Ian says:

    No sympathy for the above,money should never be put before principles and morals,If they disagreed so much,leave and tell everyone that listens what goes on at the DWP,at least they might wake up with a smile?it just seems like a worker might have got a very, very minute taste of what we are,have going through daily!

    1. wildswimmerpete says:

      Get real Ian. The days of leaving your job to get another one are long gone, or haven’t you noticed? Who pays “Distressed Worker’s” mortgage and his family’s upkeep. Principles and morals don’t put food on the table. The DWP is being run by a deranged psychopath (clue -see pic at the head of this piece) – capiche? Get back under your bridge.

      1. Ian says:

        So wilderface you expect us to have sympathy for these people?when I rang up after winning at my tribunal,a lady? at the dwp took delight after i told her I was placed in ESA support group,in telling me that I wouldnt be on it for long??my dealings with the DWP has only shown them all to be subhuman.

        1. wildswimmerpete says:

          You are illiterate as well ignorant. When you grow up you’ll recognise that all organisations have bad apples as well as saints. Don’t lecture me about the trials of benefit claiming. I have had a full stroke – been there, done it, got the T-shirt. I can’t work although I wanted to.

          That’s all I have to say on the subject.

          1. Ian says:

            Your right they have inflicted suffering on you,I can tell by by how rude,bitter and twisted they have made you!

            1. veganpanda says:

              Ian I don’t think that you was at all fair to wildswimmerpete, plus the fact you seem to put everyone who works for the DWP in the same box, which of course is NOT right!

              1. Ian says:

                Veganpanda,if you read through the comments,you will see that he sill he started off straight away by calling me a troll and being rude,as far as the DWP.I only wrote what i feel about them based on my contact with them? its not my place to excuse them for the heartache they have inflicted on thousands,the way i see it is,if their job is making them ill then something is not right and they,the workers,should have spoke up ages ago and saved themselves and more importantly us the disabled,a hell of alot of more further pain.They are lucky enough to be working at least.Ian

    2. Treharris says:

      Oh come on the man has a family, I’m all for solidarity but his responsibilities first and foremost are with his family. Plus he can do more harm than good from within than getting sacked and replaced with a real heartless piece of cap who sanctions everyone with a heartbeat or not.

      1. Ian says:

        Treharris,god forbid in the future one of his own needs to claim sick benefit,would he play a differant tune?

  4. helen smith says:

    don’t quite know what to say,the person has made the life of many a misery and probably gladly sanctioned people and made bonuses from peoples misery,now your on our side of the fence.I would not give this person advice-tell the person to sort their own s**T out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If there are so many of them in support of those who are in dire straits because of Herr Oberst Duncan Smith, then they should be the ones making as much noise as possible. Hold strikes! Take action! GROW A PAIR! Everyone else is doing there bit, but all we get is anonymous stories of despair and despondency from within the ranks of the DWP. Well, it’s not beyond me to sympathize for the ‘rebellious’ among the DWP staff, but writing in to websites pleading for anonymity isn’t going to be enough.
    IF people like the person above feel that things are really hitting a downward spiral within the DWP, we need a rebellion within the DWP from those working for the DWP to stand up to those in power and say “be reasonable or sod off!”
    It’s not enough to sit and bemoan a paid existence whilst crunching numbers and throwing paperwork around….ACTION!

  6. Mary says:

    The individual is not alone, they might find this helpful:

    2. All Civil Servants must follow the Civil Service Code. The Department’s Standards of Behaviour are based on this Code, and set out the fundamental standards expected from you at work and in your private life, which may impact on your work.
    3. If you believe you are personally being required to act in a way which conflicts with the Code you may raise the matter as a concern under the Code. You should start by reading the Department’s Crisis of Conscience Policy and Procedures.
    4. You may seek advice from one of the Department’s Nominated Officers if you need advice about your concern.

  7. peter stafford says:

    Jack it in and wander the fields and countryside like i do..i was evicted almost a year ago at 55yearsold and now sleep on a settee at my mothers. If your frightned to let people know who you are, then your on a loser already..I spent a lifetime building houses for people..bringinging up a son alone for 15 years and the last five years being a full time carer to a father who last year who died of motor neurone…the way i was treated by all was a disgrace…i now spend my day talking into a phone and posting it on youtube.(staffsno3).if nobody cares how i was treated then,maybe someone will in the watch my posts and decide i was in the future

  8. Trevor says:

    It’s not just the regime at the DWP that’s inflicting such misery on employees, it’s happening to virtually every workforce in the land. My niece, a call centre worker (BT) is also cracking under the relentless strain of meeting targets instituted by bullying bosses, and has for the first time in her working career (sixteen-years) started to take time off due to depression and stress.

    But that’s what happens when unions have been hamstrung by decades of vicious anti-union laws and workers too cowed to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

    Welcome to Cameron’s “land of opportunity”.

  9. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    They don`t believe it until they are effected, then it`s `they have treated me bad.` Join The Queue !!! No One Is Safe until everyone work for nothing or a new cut benefit that keeps getting cut working for benefits. Any arse wipers for jobs as an arse wipers!!! Boot Lickers another job title for zero hours & zero wages. You will be doing good for your society clearing up the MPs house & housework.

  10. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:


    Unions get off your arse because the workers will do anyway if you don`t. No Choice back to 1926 – Unions are scared of history.

  11. Atos Miracles says:

    Hey JJ, can you source this back to us as otherwise it could be just some more mis-information floating about. This is a genuine message from someone who we know to be genuine. They have been brave to tell us and glad you’re helping expose it – we’re the only ones who can hand-on-heart say ‘this is true and happening’. After their bravery we don’t want their message to be mis-used by others. thanks! Solidarity. https://www.facebook.com/ATOSM/posts/690550980974040

  12. Paulo Summers says:

    There needs to be a UK version of “The Long March” in Chinese history. No I’m not a communist, but such are welcome, as is anyone. We’d gather strength as we march North to South. In fact, I’m going to try to organise it, starting with FB
    Avast you public, promote this cause on social networks please!!!!!!

  13. frank says:

    Though i expect dwp are under a lot of pressure from the Nazi, IDS, i cannot offer sympathy to those who take out thier frustrations on the sick, disabled and unemployed, who are innocent victims.

  14. Boris Clover says:

    Of course I feel sympathy for anyone in this worker’s position. I had a similar experience as a social worker at the end of the 80s. I have to say,however, that in general terms, it’s taken a ,long time for workers at the DWP and at its predecessors the DSS and DHSS to come round to the view that they’re in the same boat as claimants. I remember trying to argue this with Dole workers during their industrial action during that period,and getting met with blank looks for daring to suggest that pay and working-conditions should not be their only concern. I hope they have learned since then, that mere economism is insufficient,and that common cause has to be built,rather than merely assumed.

  15. geoff reynolds says:


    Strangely they terminated an employees contract for having aspergers syndrome. The employee won her appeal tribunal then they refused to re-employ her due to her ailment…………

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and yet ATOS find you fit for work if you have aspergers…..


    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been ordered to pay a woman with Asperger’s syndrome a total of £70,000 after an employment tribunal found the DWP to be guilty of disability discrimination. The DWP was found by the tribunal to have subjected the claimant to harassment due to her Asperger’s. The tribunal initially awarded damages to the claimant of £54,000 as compensation for constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. In a further hearing, another £17,500 was ordered to be paid by the DWP for failing to comply with a re-employment ruling. (06/03/2013)

  16. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    off topic……..





    Annos | October 8, 2013 at 12:00 am | Reply

    “Fake BBC Video”


  17. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    This extract from a recently posted freedom of information request to the DWP, shows the true extent that the government will go to, to deprive you of a recorded ESA EXAMINATION…..

    In addition to the revised WCA AL1C form being sent to claimants,
    the Minister for
    Employment also made a commitment that additional information on
    audio recording would be
    made available. I can confirm that this has also been done and more
    information on audio
    recording has been uploaded to the Department for Work and Pensions
    (DWP) section of the
    GOV.UK website. The information in question can be accessed through
    the following link –


    Atos Healthcare has also included a link to this further
    information on their website as well. The
    link can be accessed from the following page –


    Neither of the above links actually work therefore

    1) Please send me the correct links

    2 Please also send a copy of your WCA AL1C form

  18. Toddy says:

    Isn’t it amazing at the lengths the dip will go to to stop people recording their ESA examinations. They promised two web sites on which to apply and a form that would be made available to request a recording. Both sites don’t exist and nobody has seen the form, coincidence or what. See this foi request below.

     What action has been taken to make sure claimants are aware of
    their right to a recorded

    In addition to the revised WCA AL1C form being sent to claimants,
    the Minister for
    Employment also made a commitment that additional information on
    audio recording would be
    made available. I can confirm that this has also been done and more
    information on audio
    recording has been uploaded to the Department for Work and Pensions
    (DWP) section of the
    GOV.UK website. The information in question can be accessed through
    the following link –


    Atos Healthcare has also included a link to this further
    information on their website as well. The
    link can be accessed from the following page –

  19. JEFFREY says:

    any chance of me getting a 100k,it was given to her to keep quite
    is ther no depths the dept of Death Work Pensions go to to cover up there mess.jeff lph


      Completely true. I used the story as a freedom of information request.

      Dear Mr Reynolds

      Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on30 May 2013. You asked:-

      1. Was tax payers hard earned cash used to pay for the compensatory
      awards after the disgusting treatment that you dished out to this
      poor lady, one of your own employees?

      2. You were fined an extra £17500 for not re-employing the lady
      because you claim the Aspergers Syndrome made her unemployable.
      How many persons suffering from the same syndrome have been found fit for work by ATOS HCPs?

      3. The judge said you treated the claimant extremely badly and yet
      you say you work hard to commit to good practice in employing and
      working with disabled people. How many disabled personnel have you made redundant and how many are taking/or sought action against you?

      4. Was there any input from the National Autistic Society when
      formulating PIP examinations or ESA?

      5. What was the total cost of the case, including specialists and
      lawyers and the tribunal bench and other associated staff?

      6. Aspergers Syndrome shows no outward signs. How does an ATOS HCP, whose qualification and title is not recognised by any medical
      organisation, evaluate on this condition if it is not visible, especially if important medical notes have not been submitted in the first instance

      And our reply is:-

      A compensation payment resulting from the Employment Tribunal judgement was paid from the Department for Work and Pensions’ accounts.

      We are unable to provide this information. Atos’s current reporting system records mental and behavioural issues. It does not record individual illnesses.

      From 1 June 2012 to 31 May 2013, 17 people were made compulsorarily redundant within the Department for Work and Pensions. Of those, 1 person had a disability declaration and they are not taking formal action. We are not able to provide the total cost of the case information. It is not readily available from current reporting systems. The cost of extracting the information would exceed the appropriate limit of £600 as specified under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.

      The development of the PIP assessment criteria was an iterative process, and significant changes were made following feedback received through our consultation activity. DWP met with the National Autistic Society during both the 2011 informal consultation on the first draft of the PIP assessment criteria, and the 2012 formal consultation on the second draft of the criteria. Furthermore, the National Autistic Society providing formal responses to each consultation.

      All Atos practitioners are registered with either the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or the General Medical Council (GMC) and have Occupation Health qualifications, all of which are recognised medical qualifications.  The Atos practitioner will request further medical evidence from the treating medical practitioner if they think that they have insufficient evidence during their assessment. In response to Q2, I can advise that this information is not held.

      Healthcare Professionals (HCP) have diagnostic information based medical evidence provided by the claimant’s GP. Claimants are encouraged to provide additional medical evidence as part of their claim to benefit. Claimants are requested to complete the questionnaire (ESA 50) which provides information on the functional effects of the claimant’s condition. HCPs receive guidance and training in the assessment of people with Aspergers Syndrome.

      If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the reference number above.

      Yours Sincerely,

      DWP HR Central Freedom of Information Team


    Payout to autism sufferer
    27 February 2013 9.00am.

    THE DEPARTMENT for Work and 
Pensions has been ordered to pay another £17,500 to a Dundee employee who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and who they treated “extremely badly”.

    The latest cash award, for not complying 
with a re-employment ruling, brings the total sum to be paid by the DWP to the woman in the long-running case to more than £70,000.

    An employment tribunal in Dundee has issued a judgment in the re-engagement compensation proceedings raised by the woman. They had previously ordered the DWP to pay her just under £54,000 as 
compensation for constructive unfair 
dismissal and disability discrimination.

    They also told them to re-engage her in a post appropriate to her skills and on the same pay she received in her previous post.

    They were further told of their duty to make reasonable adjustments for her return to work in terms of the Equality Act.

    Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism, a lifelong disability of which the sufferer shows no outward signs. People with the condition have difficulties in social communication, social interaction and social imagination.

    At a hearing earlier this month, the 
tribunal was told the woman was asked to return to work in November 2011 but found she was psychologically unable to go through the door.

    Trust and confidence had been “irreparably damaged” and the claimant’s anxiety level was too much for her to overcome. With the benefit of hindsight she believed there was nothing that the DWP could have done after her departure that would have allowed her to return to work.

    In accepting medical evidence that re-engagement was too late, the tribunal chaired by judge Ian McFatridge said the respondents “had treated the claimant extremely badly”.

    The tribunal accepted the DWP’s contention that the level of re-engagement compensation should not be regarded 
as a penalty for the way she was treated.

    The judgment continued: “We required to take into account the fact that the claimant 
is psychologically unable to return to work with the respondents and that this is something which has been brought on by the respondents’ treatment of her.”

    The tribunal had previously found that the woman had been subjected to harassment by the DWP due to her disability.

    A DWP spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the tribunal’s findings. We employ disabled people right across the country and work hard to ensure we meet our commitments to good practice in employing and retaining disabled people.”







    1. S Smith says:

      In any other situation, if a person is made more ill by a corporation they can sue, so why aren’t more lawyers taking on cases to sue the government for mistreating sick people?

  21. jaypot2012 says:

    I don’t know what to say about the original author as myself and my husband are going through hell with them, as are more than half the population.
    One thing I can say, is that all the whinging behind a keyboard is doing nothing for anyone and is certainly doing nothing against this evil government that we have.
    WE have had over 3 years to do something about all that is happening, WE could have/still can get this government out, WE could have got rid of IDS and Co and still can, but WE won’t. WHY? They are a coalition government who were not voted in and have proved time and time again that they are against the disabled, the long term sick, the unemployed, the low paid, the “plebs” as we are known to them. We have benefit cuts, the “bedroom tax”, ATOS doing what they want, and lies, lies and more lies as well as other atrocities too many to mention. And what have we done? Sat behind our computers, had demonstrations that are not shown on television, had other demo’s but been banned against going through certain areas or been told that we are not allowed to demonstrate or march or we will be arrested and so on…
    Where the hell is our fight? Where is our courage? Where are the people who stood up and fought against the Poll Tax? Other governments that we have had? Where is the utter rage inside us against everything this government have done?
    I am ashamed of me and of you all because we only need to band together, all around the country for days at a time, bring the traffic to a standstill, strike everywhere, demonstrate (peacefully) everywhere, march everywhere all at the same time and we would force an election. We’ve done it before and we can do it again but instead we all want someone else to do it for us, others to fight for a change in voting, a change of government etc whilst we sit and mumble about what is happening to our country NOW!
    Stop being cowards, stand up to the few as we are the many, DO something!

  22. martin s says:

    Both my wife have recently been forced onto benefits due to Ill health. In our experience the front line DWP is staffed by 80%helpful, sympathetic individuals who are trying to make the best of what is rapidly becoming a sadistic and unfair system. 20% are A-holes. But that’s not bad, bearing in mind the attitudes on here that are happy to blame the front line staff for Government policy. If you get served shit food in a restaurant do you blame the waiter? Or the chef?
    Many of these posts display a level of political illiteracy that underpins why it is so easy to end up with an evil Government like this. “Sure, go ahead, sack ’em all. Let ’em all be replaced by ATOS and the like”.
    What do you imagine it would be like if that happened?
    With bitter divisive attitudes like this the Tories will be laughing all the way to the next election. If you, YES YOU, cannot start to show some solidarity the Tory government will be here forever. And it will get worse. Much much worse

  23. Karen M says:

    Martin S, you have hit the nail on the head regarding who to blame. I wish people focused more on the (mis-)management levels of DWP. The senior levels in particular- such as Robert Devereux.

    I think solidarity is unlikely while the media is complicit in dividing opinion. At the moment we can protest in a constricted way but this gets little coverage. We can write about people who have died after a WCA and get a cold-hearted stock answer from the DWP.

    We can sign epetitions and hope for proper public debate. Please sign the WoW petition.

    Hopefully the Public Accounts Committee and the marvelous Margaret Hodge will get a chance to put IDS through the wringer.
    We can get MPs like Frank Skinner and Michael Meacher to stand up and excoriate the policy of the Coalition.

          1. Karen M says:

            just wish I know why my brain picked on Frank. I suppose it could have ended up Dennis Healey…

  24. Darren says:

    Awww… let’s all feel sorry for da poor liddle DWP wallflower den. if you’re taken in by this, then you need a common sense upgrade.

    1. Ian says:

      I have no sympathy for them at all,They have been enforcing dwp policy all this time and collecting their pieces of silver.They could have refused or at the very least been more helpfull.

  25. S Smith says:

    These kind of articles only have any impact if in the mainstream media, than just left wing publications where only people who originally agree with them read them.

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